Who is Sister Suzie? Well, Suzie hails from Northumberland’s wild and rural northern border, and has been bringing her natural downhome charm, undiluted, to southern climes for the last few years.
It wasn’t until her love of classic rhythm & blues was nurtured that Suzie decided that singing and entertaining in public was going to be her life’s ambition. Her love of rockin’ music from before her time was kicked off by her Aunty Freda, who turned Suzie on to Elvis. That’s one conduit to the blues, but her full-on attachment to the sounds from the other side of the tracks came from a home town friend who played her some sides by Rufus Thomas. This would lead to her enthusiastically seeking the records of Memphis Minnie, Big Mama Thornton, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Robert Johnson, Rufus Thomas, Leadbelly and Elmore James. Her biggest idol soon became New Orleans Soul Queen, Irma Thomas. Which may have had more than a little to do with Suzie packing her bags and travelling to the Crescent City – where she has returned more than once since – and blowing her life savings! One thing Suzie has little of is regrets!
So an itinerant life, working to pay for her music habit, led to her traveling around the UK until settling in the south – and finally cutting her first record. This happened in July 2016, when Suzie funded her own session, which included drummer Brian Nevill, who had played one gig with our heroine previously and stayed in touch, and bass player/producer Mick Wigfall, who recommended his old guitar-playing pal, Matt Jackson, gathering three guys who happily happened to know each other. The CD EP that Suzie pressed herself got some interest from show promoters, and some gig offers came in. Matt and Brian were on board for the live group, and were joined very quickly by Eddie Edwards, a double bass player Suzie had seen and heard and decided he was going to be in her band whether he agreed or not.
From August 2016 Sister Suzie and The Right Band have been playing up and down the UK with a sprinkling of European festivals and weekenders thrown in. In July 2017 Suzie and the band released a single on their own label, one year on from the demo CD. But it would be in October the same year that the guys and gal realised they needed the warmth of analogue tape and a sympathetic engineer to capture what they knew they were getting at a live show. Also by this time Suzie had penned a clutch of original songs the band were keen to put down. So it was that they found themselves in Gizzard Recording Studio in east London – and voila! Third time lucky!
This year that album is being released again on vinyl, available from July 26th!
Suzie has been playing in Paris, The Netherlands, Norway, Nashville and did five shows at Glastonbury this summer; make sure you manage to see her and The Right Band when you get the chance!